New Delhi, November 25 (KMS): The lack of action by the law enforcement agencies against the perpetrators of the hate crimes committed against the religious minorities, the involvement of the police by aiding the offenders or ignoring them revealed “a bigger pattern of discrimination in the criminal-judicial system”, noted a report on India’s minorities.
The report ‘The Religious Minorities in India’ by a United States-based NGO, Council on Minority Rights in India (CMRI), was released at the Press Club of India in New Delhi. The report was released by lawyer Kawalpreet Kaur and student activists Safoora Zargar, Nidha Parveen, Sharjeel Usmani and Tazeen Junaid. The latter three were involved in compiling the report. The release event was presided over by senior advocate Colin Gonsalves.
“Role of law enforcement agencies constitutes a bigger bias in cases of hate crimes against minorities. The absence of a definite meaning and insufficient legal provisions to implicate offenders of hate crime leaves much on part of the law enforcement’s discretion to act upon. There is a definite lack of action on part of the law enforcement against perpetrators of hate crimes that reveals a bigger pattern of discrimination in the criminal-judicial system,” noted the report.
The report recorded 294 incidents of hate crimes against Muslims, Christians and Sikhs. Out of 294 crimes, 192 crimes were committed against Muslims, 95 against Christians and 7 against Sikhs. Uttar Pradesh (62), Madhya Pradesh (23), Karnataka (22) and Delhi (22) are the states where the highest number of hate crimes was committed.
In the year 2021, 221 members of the Christian community fell prey to hate crimes in 95 instances of hate crimes. In the same year, 606 members of the Muslim community were victimised in 192 instances of hate crimes. The figure for the Sikh community members was 21 in 7 cases of hate crimes.
The report pointed out that the records show a clear bias of the police by detaining or arresting the victims of hate crimes leading to their secondary victimisation. Several incidents have highlighted a trend of police detaining the victims on allegations of hate crime offenders of members of minority communities.
“There are also noted incidents of police helping the offenders in a crime or overlooking the offence that is committed. There are also incidents wherein law enforcement personnel have in fact engaged in offences against members of the minority community. Institutional power and lack of accountability of law enforcement make the victims of hate crimes directly or indirectly affected by police action or inaction,” it said.
The report contains chapters authored by activist Afreen Fatima, journalist Aditya Menon, lawyer Vikasan Pillai, social worker Mohammad Uzair and research students Mehwish Asim, Mohammad Kamran, Tazeen Junaid, Nidha Parveen J.A., Nada Nasreen, and Sabah Maharaj.